The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations

What do highly collaborative teams do that sets them apart? Here are 12 habits that highly collaborative organizations have in common.
Tessa Marano

As teams continue to become increasingly remote, collaboration is arguably more important than ever before. With evolving employee expectations, market volatility and rapid advancements in technology, companies are forced to become more agile and adaptable, and of course, more digital. Teams who continue to collaborate effectively through these challenges have a few things in common.

What may be surprising is that for highly collaborative teams, success doesn’t necessarily come from a breadth of skill and expertise. Yes, these attributes are important for organizational success to a certain degree, however according to research, they do not contribute to effective team collaboration. In fact, having a high percentage of experts on a team can actually harm collaboration.

So what do highly collaborative teams do that sets them apart? Here are 12 habits that highly collaborative organizations have in common.

1. They prioritize social relationships and a sense of community

Prioritizing social relationships and community in the workplace is not only a contributor to higher job satisfaction for employees, it’s good for business.

According to research conducted by Deloitte in 2021, feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace can lead to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 75% decrease in sick days. When people have a sense of community and belonging in the workplace, they’re more likely to share knowledge, communicate with team members and reach shared goals.

2. Senior leaders collaborate well and are highly visible

Lead by example is a term we hear over and over in relation to effective leadership. But does it really bear any fruit? When it comes to collaboration, apparently yes.

According to research, at companies where the senior executives visibly demonstrate collaboration through their behavior, teams work more collaboratively together.

3. They have trust between workers and teams

A 2016 PwC survey found that 55% of CEOs think that a lack of trust is a threat to organizational growth. And it’s likely that they’re not wrong. Organizations that foster a high-trust environment give rise to employees who are happier, have more energy at work and who, importantly, collaborate more effectively with colleagues.

4. Workers have role clarity

Understanding who does what in a team means that employees know who to turn to gain knowledge on a particular work area, project or task and are therefore more likely to foster open lines of communication.

5. They’re adaptable

Being able to adapt to changing markets, evolving workplace priorities and business objectives is key to the success of highly collaborative teams.

One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that being adaptable, particularly during times of volatility, is critical to mitigating risk and stabilizing - or increasing - business performance. Built into the mindsets of highly collaborative teams is an understanding that when circumstances change, teams need to work together to evolve, whether it’s by adopting a new team software or adjusting team workflows.

6. They prioritize and train effective communication

Collaborative organizations prioritize communication between employees. Whether it’s by providing specialized communication training for employees or by prioritizing collaboration skills in hiring processes, building teams on the foundation of effective communication is key to maintaining a culture of collaboration.

7. They share knowledge freely

One of the biggest killers of effective collaboration is keeping information privy within particular teams or within the confines of senior management. On the contrary, sharing knowledge freely between workers and teams can bust workplace silos, build employee trust and drive more effective collaboration.

8. They’re flexible with their tasks and responsibilities

While role clarity is an important element of collaborative teams, the ability and willingness of workers to share responsibilities, pitch in, help others and spread workloads is one of the habits that sets highly collaborative teams apart.

9. They have a common goal that is shared through the entire organization

Effective collaborators understand clearly what they’re working towards; what their team’s objectives are and what the organization’s mission and goals are. Having a common goal fosters a sense of belonging in organizations and can therefore increase communication and collaboration.

10. They are routine in their communication and collaboration

Enstating routine WIP meetings, one-on-ones, strategy sessions and workshops can set a structure around the way teams communicate, and how often. Importantly, encouraging every team member to speak up and share their opinions can help teams to solve problems better, and embed a culture of collaboration throughout the entire organization.

11. Workers help each other to succeed

Collaborative teams understand that to reach shared goals every team member’s work and input contributes to the success (or failure) of the entire organization. This means that the success of one team member is the success of the entire organization, just as one worker’s failure can prevent the organization from reaching its objectives.

Fostering an environment in which team members support other team members to succeed can boost morale and drive momentum towards shared goals.

12. They have the right tools for the job

Highly collaborative teams understand that in order to work effectively together, they need the right tools and software for the job. Integrating digital collaboration tools into team workflows can provide increased oversight over tasks and projects, encourage input from more team members and of course drive more collaboration - especially for remote-working teams.

Through effective leadership, structured communication and adopting the right technology, organizations can work more collaboratively and effectively. Want to embed a culture of collaboration into your organization? Drawboard can help.

Drawboard PDF and Drawboard Projects are digital collaboration tools designed to help workplaces work without paper.

As teams continue to become increasingly remote, collaboration is arguably more important than ever before. With evolving employee expectations, market volatility and rapid advancements in technology, companies are forced to become more agile and adaptable, and of course, more digital. Teams who continue to collaborate effectively through these challenges have a few things in common.

What may be surprising is that for highly collaborative teams, success doesn’t necessarily come from a breadth of skill and expertise. Yes, these attributes are important for organizational success to a certain degree, however according to research, they do not contribute to effective team collaboration. In fact, having a high percentage of experts on a team can actually harm collaboration.

So what do highly collaborative teams do that sets them apart? Here are 12 habits that highly collaborative organizations have in common.

1. They prioritize social relationships and a sense of community

Prioritizing social relationships and community in the workplace is not only a contributor to higher job satisfaction for employees, it’s good for business.

According to research conducted by Deloitte in 2021, feeling a sense of belonging in the workplace can lead to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 75% decrease in sick days. When people have a sense of community and belonging in the workplace, they’re more likely to share knowledge, communicate with team members and reach shared goals.

2. Senior leaders collaborate well and are highly visible

Lead by example is a term we hear over and over in relation to effective leadership. But does it really bear any fruit? When it comes to collaboration, apparently yes.

According to research, at companies where the senior executives visibly demonstrate collaboration through their behavior, teams work more collaboratively together.

3. They have trust between workers and teams

A 2016 PwC survey found that 55% of CEOs think that a lack of trust is a threat to organizational growth. And it’s likely that they’re not wrong. Organizations that foster a high-trust environment give rise to employees who are happier, have more energy at work and who, importantly, collaborate more effectively with colleagues.

4. Workers have role clarity

Understanding who does what in a team means that employees know who to turn to gain knowledge on a particular work area, project or task and are therefore more likely to foster open lines of communication.

5. They’re adaptable

Being able to adapt to changing markets, evolving workplace priorities and business objectives is key to the success of highly collaborative teams.

One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that being adaptable, particularly during times of volatility, is critical to mitigating risk and stabilizing - or increasing - business performance. Built into the mindsets of highly collaborative teams is an understanding that when circumstances change, teams need to work together to evolve, whether it’s by adopting a new team software or adjusting team workflows.

6. They prioritize and train effective communication

Collaborative organizations prioritize communication between employees. Whether it’s by providing specialized communication training for employees or by prioritizing collaboration skills in hiring processes, building teams on the foundation of effective communication is key to maintaining a culture of collaboration.

7. They share knowledge freely

One of the biggest killers of effective collaboration is keeping information privy within particular teams or within the confines of senior management. On the contrary, sharing knowledge freely between workers and teams can bust workplace silos, build employee trust and drive more effective collaboration.

8. They’re flexible with their tasks and responsibilities

While role clarity is an important element of collaborative teams, the ability and willingness of workers to share responsibilities, pitch in, help others and spread workloads is one of the habits that sets highly collaborative teams apart.

9. They have a common goal that is shared through the entire organization

Effective collaborators understand clearly what they’re working towards; what their team’s objectives are and what the organization’s mission and goals are. Having a common goal fosters a sense of belonging in organizations and can therefore increase communication and collaboration.

10. They are routine in their communication and collaboration

Enstating routine WIP meetings, one-on-ones, strategy sessions and workshops can set a structure around the way teams communicate, and how often. Importantly, encouraging every team member to speak up and share their opinions can help teams to solve problems better, and embed a culture of collaboration throughout the entire organization.

11. Workers help each other to succeed

Collaborative teams understand that to reach shared goals every team member’s work and input contributes to the success (or failure) of the entire organization. This means that the success of one team member is the success of the entire organization, just as one worker’s failure can prevent the organization from reaching its objectives.

Fostering an environment in which team members support other team members to succeed can boost morale and drive momentum towards shared goals.

12. They have the right tools for the job

Highly collaborative teams understand that in order to work effectively together, they need the right tools and software for the job. Integrating digital collaboration tools into team workflows can provide increased oversight over tasks and projects, encourage input from more team members and of course drive more collaboration - especially for remote-working teams.

Through effective leadership, structured communication and adopting the right technology, organizations can work more collaboratively and effectively. Want to embed a culture of collaboration into your organization? Drawboard can help.

Drawboard PDF and Drawboard Projects are digital collaboration tools designed to help workplaces work without paper.

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About Drawboard

We are a PDF and collaboration company. We believe that creating more effective connections between people reduces waste.

Our best work has been overtaken by busywork. That’s why we’ve created ways to help people get back to working wonders without any paper in sight.

Drawboard PDF lets you mark up and share with ease, and Drawboard Projects brings collaborative design review to architecture and engineering teams.

At Drawboard, we work our magic so our customers can get back to working theirs.

About Drawboard

We are a PDF and collaboration company. We believe that creating more effective connections between people reduces waste.

Our best work has been overtaken by busywork. That’s why we’ve created ways to help people get back to working wonders without any paper in sight.

Drawboard PDF lets you mark up and share with ease, and Drawboard Projects brings collaborative design review to architecture and engineering teams.

At Drawboard, we work our magic so our customers can get back to working theirs.

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